2009.01.03 19:00 - Rediscovering the Beauty Behind the Veil

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    I, Pema, was the guardian that evening. When I arrived, at the sound of the gong, Fefonz, Scathach and stevenaia were already in the pavillon, with a new visitor, Malika. Doug and Pila would follow on my heels; Adams and Susi would arrive just after him. A large group, nine of us right at the start of the session!

    Fefonz Quan: Hi everyone :)
    Pema Pera: Good evening!
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello all:)
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello all
    Malika Cabassoun: hi, Tarmel is teaching me how to use this
    stevenaia Michinaga: this?
    doug Sosa: hi all.
    Malika Cabassoun: second life thing
    Pila Mulligan: greetings (another laggy start:)
    Malika Cabassoun: I don't know much of the language you use and i am french
    Pema Pera: Hi Malika, have you been here before?
    Malika Cabassoun: Only sitting next to tarmel watching her do it
    Pema Pera: do what?
    Malika Cabassoun: comunicate
    Malika Cabassoun: chat... answer questions, ask questions...
    Pema Pera: Did Tarmel tell you that we record our conversations on a blog, http://playasbeing.wik.is/ ?
    stevenaia Michinaga: sounds like what we come here to do...learn how to communicate
    Pema Pera: Do you mind being included there?
    Malika Cabassoun: yes she did
    Pema Pera: thanks!
    Malika Cabassoun: no I don't mind
    Pema Pera: thank you!
    Adams Rubble: Hello everyone :)
    Pema Pera: Quite a crowd tonight!
    Fefonz Quan: HI Adams
    Susi Alcott: _/!\_
    Pema Pera: Would anyone like to talk about appearances, life, the Universe, . . or anything else?
    Pila Mulligan: idea: what makes an intersting topic for discussion?
    Adams Rubble thionks if we spend more time listening there may be less to talk about
    Pila Mulligan: what charactersitics, etc.
    Malika Cabassoun: appearances, took me a while to sort out my look :)
    Pema Pera: hahaha, yes, Malika
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Susi Alcott: hi Pema, doug, Fefonz, Adams, Pila; stevenaia Malika
    Pila Mulligan: Malika, appearances is also one of Pema's favorite subjects in terms of how all of reality appears
    Pema Pera: Hi Susi!
    Pila Mulligan: hi susi
    Adams Rubble: Hello Susi
    Fefonz Quan: hi Susi
    Malika Cabassoun: it's interesting to see how my perspectives of change as I am getting older, talking about looks
    Malika Cabassoun: I am enjoying the fact that how I look is not so important
    Pila Mulligan: :)

    And, what a pleasant surprise, Dakini stopped by! I had not seen her for ages.

    Adams Rubble: Hello Dakini:)
    Dakini Rhode: hi :)
    Pema Pera: Hey Dakini, happy new year!
    stevenaia Michinaga: you have been missed Dakini
    doug Sosa: it always has amused me how hard i try to read the person through the appearance,and how it fails here.
    Dakini Rhode: a happy and healthy new year to you :)
    Pema Pera: Yes, Malika, that is one of the fun aspects of second life
    Dakini Rhode: ty steve :)
    Pema Pera: the flexibility
    stevenaia Michinaga: what is the best way to read a person Doug?
    Adams Rubble: You too Dakini (agrees with Steve)
    doug Sosa: i willlet that pass for now, steve.
    stevenaia Michinaga: ...smiles
    Dakini Rhode: i'm an open book, doug :)
    doug Sosa: open digital..
    stevenaia Michinaga: I see what takes place over time serves as a good measure
    stevenaia Michinaga: (not that there is time... winks)
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Fefonz Quan: (not that there is A constant person to read)
    Pema Pera: :)
    Pema Pera: I loved reading the poem on your blog, Dakini, by Rumi
    Dakini Rhode: haha i've missed these chats
    Pema Pera: especially the last line, about the fog
    Dakini Rhode: Pema, a friend chose that for me as the poem to guide this new year
    Pema Pera: http://zenretreat.blogspot.com/
    Dakini Rhode: chosen at random :)
    Dakini Rhode: i love it
    Pema Pera: nice form of randomness!!
    Dakini Rhode: it's from A Year with Rumi or something like that
    Pema Pera: you've shifted your practice mostly from SL to RL the last few months?
    Malika Cabassoun: yes beautiful poem
    Dakini Rhode: yes my practice and my life :)
    Malika Cabassoun: what is your practice Dakini
    Pema Pera: Hi Stim!
    Dakini Rhode: o wait isn't practice one of those REALLY BAD words?
    Pema Pera: as you like, Dakini :)
    Stim Morane: Hi all!
    Pema Pera: exploration is fine too
    Pema Pera: or "life"
    Dakini Rhode: hi Stim :)
    Stim Morane: :)

    Stim arrived, and Dakini continued to talk about her activities.

    Dakini Rhode: caring for aging parents :)
    Pema Pera: !
    Malika Cabassoun: big one...
    stevenaia Michinaga: something we will all be someday
    Dakini Rhode: in my spare time :)
    Pema Pera: As for Malika's question, I guess the answer is ngondro, Dakini, judging from your blog?
    Pila Mulligan: hi Stim
    Dakini Rhode: oh i'm doing a little of that, too :)
    Dakini Rhode: and Menla training
    Dakini Rhode: contemplative healing training
    Malika Cabassoun: can you say more?
    Dakini Rhode: finding an URL...
    Dakini Rhode: http://www.menlatraining.com/
    Malika Cabassoun: thank you will check it out
    Dakini Rhode: yw :)
    Malika Cabassoun: i am interested because i teach anusara yoga
    Dakini Rhode: where are you located?
    Malika Cabassoun: Sydney
    Dakini Rhode: Germany might be the closest location to you
    Dakini Rhode: only in Germany and the US for now
    Malika Cabassoun: germany is a possibilty when I go to France

    I asked Malika about Anusara Yoga.

    Pema Pera: can you tell us a bit about anusara yoga, Malika?
    Malika Cabassoun: anusara means "to open to grace" you can go to anusara.com
    Malika Cabassoun: anusara yoga follows tantric yoga philosophy, which I am training in at the moment
    Malika Cabassoun: it is about remembering the consciousness which is in everything and at the same time honoring diversity
    Pema Pera: that sounds like a great attitude!
    Dakini Rhode: yes :)
    Malika Cabassoun: absolutly beautiful
    Pema Pera: may I ask how you open to grace, if that can be hinted at in a few words?
    Malika Cabassoun: it is an attitude, like opening to the divine, opening to the flow of nature, strating from a place where we are open and soft
    Malika Cabassoun: and then maintaining the softness, we bring the energy in, and out constantly, it is also called spanda
    Malika Cabassoun: spanda is the pulse of the universe
    Pema Pera: it sounds like what we do every fifteen minutes for 9 seconds, or at least one of the ways we do it :-)
    Pema Pera: did you read/hear our approach?
    Malika Cabassoun: yes:)
    Pema Pera: so we trade duration for frequency
    Pema Pera: many short times rather than once or twice a day a long session
    Malika Cabassoun: actually i don't know about the 9 seconds

    Ik summarized the PaB 9-sec exploration approach.

    Pema Pera: but many of us do both
    Pema Pera: every fifteen minutes we stop what we do and open up for 9 seconds
    Pema Pera: in RL
    Pema Pera: each in our own way
    Pema Pera: and we get together here to talk about that
    Malika Cabassoun: cool
    Pema Pera: (although many times we just chat :-)
    Pema Pera: it is a kind of time tax: 9 seconds every 900 seconds, only 1%
    Malika Cabassoun: HAHAHA
    Pema Pera: see http://playasbeing.wik.is/
    Malika Cabassoun: thank you
    Pema Pera: The key idea is : stop -> drop -> see
    Fefonz Quan: (the chippest tax i've ever payed ;0)
    Pema Pera: ah, that's what you think, Fef, just you wait . . . :)
    Fefonz Quan: ah,the interest...
    Malika Cabassoun: stopping is a very good key
    Pema Pera: :)
    Pema Pera: stop our mad rush, then drop our veils, and see the beauty of all that appears
    Pema Pera: all appearances without judgment
    Pema Pera: as they appear
    Pema Pera: as divine, if you like
    Pema Pera: (some of us like that word, others don't)
    Malika Cabassoun: that's exactly what anusara is about, rediscover the beauty behind the veil
    Pema Pera: (we are very diverse)
    Pema Pera: so we are nano-anusarists perhaps?
    Malika Cabassoun: HAHAHA
    Pema Pera: Dakini, have you met Susi?
    Dakini Rhode: hello Susi :)
    Pema Pera: Susi is a healer in RL, probably has overlapping interests with you
    Pema Pera: Susi, Dakini is the one who invited me to this part of SL, in March
    Pema Pera: before we started Play as Being in April
    Pema Pera: she lend me her tea house
    Pema Pera: where we had our first session on April Foolsday
    Dakini Rhode: how things have changed in less than a year :)


    Susi Alcott: hello Dakini
    Dakini Rhode: :)
    Dakini Rhode: Pema, you would like one of the basic exercises of the Menla training
    Dakini Rhode: we call it simply "awareness is:
    Dakini Rhode: "
    Dakini Rhode: Menla is also a way to transport contemplative practices (lujong and lojong, among them) to Westerners, specifically those in the health care professions -- without using the Buddhist terminology
    Susi Alcott: having more than much computer probs but just 'had to' log in
    Susi Alcott: even cannot much but say 'hello'
    Dakini Rhode: you seem to be sufficiently here :)
    Pema Pera was reading Dakini's sentence above as "awareness is <return>" (on the key board)
    Dakini Rhode: oops that was supposed to be "awareness is"
    Dakini Rhode: typo
    Pema Pera: but I like the <return> :)
    Pema Pera: to what is
    Dakini Rhode: but the return adds something :)
    Dakini Rhode: hmmm or subtracts

    This had been a theme in our first few months: that Play as Being is not about adding some new gimmick or toy to our life, but rather about dropping things, subtracting rather than adding.

    Pema Pera: even better!
    Malika Cabassoun: ha ha
    Pema Pera: Malika, most of our wisdom is generated by typos
    Dakini Rhode: haha
    Pema Pera: we should make a list!
    Malika Cabassoun: what are typos
    Dakini Rhode: the typos stop you
    Pema Pera: miss spellings
    Fefonz Quan: but are most of are typos generated by wisdom ? :)
    Pema Pera: (like that one)
    stevenaia Michinaga: thank goodness
    Pema Pera: we are selective, Fef
    Pema Pera: much as Steve is very very wise
    Dakini Rhode: sometimes you know when you make a mistake, you stop -- and you look, and you can find wisdom
    Fefonz Quan: ah, like natural selection, randomness then selectiveness :)
    Pema Pera: :)
    Dakini Rhode: not that i like to make mistakes my practice :)
    Dakini Rhode: oops play, Stim
    Dakini Rhode: :)
    Pema Pera: oh, whenever you stop, and look, you see that everything has been a mistake :) -- key point of PaB
    Stim Morane: ?
    Dakini Rhode: haha
    Pema Pera: case of mistaken identification, that is
    Pema Pera: our whole life
    Pema Pera: overlooking the beauty that Malika spoke about
    Dakini Rhode: Stim, I think it was in one of your discussions with Pema (I read on the web) I think you stated we don't "practice" we "play" here in the playasbeing group
    Stim Morane: I have no problem with the word "practice".
    Dakini Rhode: so I inferred some aversion to the word - thanks :)
    Stim Morane: For certain purposes, one would want to qualify it more, but that's not usually so important.
    Stim Morane: No, I try to get people to "practice" as much as possible. The rest is in the details.
    Dakini Rhode: well i generally make mistakes without practice anyway
    Stim Morane: :)
    Stim Morane: Oops, gotta go! Bye everyone!

    Stim had to leave, so I quoted some of his thoughts, from a few days earlier.

    Pema Pera: Stim and I had a fun dialogue about sincerity of practice, on http://playasbeing.wik.is/Chat_Logs/..._Pema_and_Stim
    Pema Pera: bye Stim!
    stevenaia Michinaga: seem my "Professional Practice" more as "Professional Play" for me
    Dakini Rhode: bye Stim
    Pema Pera: if I may quote briefly, now that Stim is not hear himself to talk:
    Pema Pera:
    Stim: Dogen said that there is no "high" practice or "low" practice, but only sincere practice and insincere practice (which is to say, bogus practice). I think sincere practice already is free of the most toxic aspects of practice.
    Stim: Again, the appreciative "play" emphasized in PaB seems to be a good balance, a based solution.
    Pema Pera: yes, me too, Steve
    stevenaia Michinaga: perhaps the difference between practice and play is level of enjoyment
    Fefonz Quan: and the "target" issue too
    stevenaia Michinaga: which makes you smile wider
    Pila Mulligan: there may be sincere play and insincere play, also, to further Stim and Dogen's distinction
    Fefonz Quan: like in playing basketball, do we pratctice to win more or playing to have fun? or both
    stevenaia Michinaga: have you ever seen a child play insincerely?
    Pila Mulligan: that they seem to have to learn, and unfortunately they often do as they age
    Malika Cabassoun: thak you so much and see you again
    Pema Pera: (just reading the "about" part of http://www.anusara.com/: "This community feels like it has the tightness of a family, yet the looseness of a merry band of bohemian artists." That does sound very much like our Play as Being group!
    Pila Mulligan: bye Malika
    Pema Pera: thanks for dropping by, Malika!
    Pema Pera: we meet here every day four times 1 am 7 am 1 pm 7 pm
    Malika Cabassoun: yes it is a bit the same bye merry go band

    Malika left, and it became time for me to leave as well.

    Susi Alcott: _/!\_
    Fefonz Quan: (Susi - is this a "namaste" emotion?)
    Susi Alcott: you can use that expression too if U want
    Fefonz Quan: cool :)
    Pema Pera: (I learned it from Dakini)
    Pema Pera: (way back when)
    Dakini Rhode: I thought i learned it from you Pema :)
    Dakini Rhode: must have been Isen
    Pema Pera: nono!
    Dakini Rhode: :)
    Pema Pera: ah, yes, likely!
    Pema Pera: very isenesque
    Dakini Rhode: you had the cat face
    Pema Pera: =^+^=
    Dakini Rhode: yes, that !
    Pema Pera: (*^_^*)
    Dakini Rhode: ;->
    Pema Pera: o(*^_^*)o
    Susi Alcott: to me it's basicly to give so called extra light energy; honouring, respect, love
    Pema Pera: a wonderful way of reading it, Susi!
    Pema Pera: I'll have to be on my way -- thanks for stopping by, Dakini!
    Pema Pera: see you all soon again
    Pila Mulligan: bye Pema
    Fefonz Quan: bye Pema
    Scathach Rhiadra: bye Pema
    stevenaia Michinaga: bye Pema
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